My First Time in Variety: Randy Newman

Variety | 11/14/2019 | Andrew Barker
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“What?! My god.”

But in 1965, he was just another struggling L.A. musician – albeit one whose uncles, Alfred Newman and Lionel Newman, were Hollywood music royalty – writing songs and taking odd jobs composing music for TV. Epic Records liked his output of surf-rock instrumentals for the ABC soap “Peyton Place” – credited to the Randy Newman Orchestra – enough to release it on vinyl, and Variety included it in a review roundup of new LPs. (The unnamed reviewer called it “an odd parlay that switches from the main title theme to such raunchy numbers as ‘Pot Shot,’ ‘Blue Watusi’ and ‘The Slurp.'”) There was just one problem: No one bothered to tell Newman about it.

Experience - Release - Music - Peyton - Place

I’ve read that you had a strange experience with the release of your music from “Peyton Place.”

I didn’t even know it existed! I did some stuff for “Peyton Place” for my uncle, to pay racetrack debts mostly. I appreciated the opportunity. It was like the first thing I ever did, and I got to make some very square rock ‘n’ roll for a TV show. But that was all it was.


When did you finally find out about the album?

Uh, just now? No, it was years later, I think. I didn’t know it came out, and then I remembered seeing the names [of the songs] appear on one of those royalty statements you get from BMI. But that was a few years later. I don’t think they really put it out there until I was somewhat known – not too well known, but known enough that they could put it out.

Life - Peyton - Place - Gig

Where were you in your life when you got that “Peyton Place” gig?

I was living at home with my parents, which I did until I was 23, and I moved out when I got married. Yeah,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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